My name is Richard Smith, I was born May 26th, 1945; I am a native of Philadelphia Pennsylvania now living in Cleveland Ohio. Son of Mrs. Marie Mason, (Toot’s) Cobb and I also have two sisters; Vernice Cobb Saunders & Ennis Cobb Gadden. I began playing music in the winter of 1959. I purchased my very first 6-string acoustic guitar from a local pawnshop that was located on the southeast corner of 17th, & Susquehanna Avenue in North Philadelphia. I practiced daily with my two best friends James (Squirrel) Woodson, who later played guitar with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and Ervin (Bo Bo) Walton who is no longer playing music. We practiced religiously on the front door steps of James Woodson’s home and occasionally on the front door steps of Herman Williams when the weather permitted and in James Woodson’s & Herman Williams Living rooms when the weather was bad. I had to leave my 6 string acoustic guitar at Herman’s house; who lived a couple of blocks away. My mother did not want me to play music; my mother was born August 26th, 1897 in Reidsville South Carolina. During the 1920’s Toot’s remembered all of her musician friends that lost their lives in shootings in Bar, Clubs & Speak Easies owned by organized crime (Boot Legers) and others in and around the Philadelphia area. For this reason I had to keep this great secret from my dear mother so I could play music. I had to conceal the fact that I was learning and playing the Guitar and later the Electric Bass. Of course Toot’s later found out from one of my sisters, my sister Ennis convinced her that she would attend all of my musical performances to ensure my safety and my mother now gave me permission to play music; thank GOD. After practicing about 6 months I obtain my first playing Gig singing and playing with a Doo Woop group that went by the “Love Men” in which I sang Baritone and played the electric six string guitar. Shortly after I was approached by one of my neighbors, Mr. Rollee McGill a well known Tenor Saxophonist and Blues singer. Mr. McGill had a band went by the name “The Wip-po-wills,” he had a top ten Hit Recording by the name “There Goes That Train,” that was big in Philadelphia, Chicago, LA and New York city. He asked if I’d be interested in playing with his band (1959) and of course I accepted his offer. Oh, by the way he needed a Bass player. He offered to show me what I needed to know to play his Gigs as the Bass player; he showed me a few licks and the rest is history. That’s when I began playing the Fender electric 4 string precision Bass that belonged to Mr. McGill. One Friday night we were playing at a Club by the name of V.P.A. Club located at Broad and Dolphin Streets in North Philadelphia a few doors up from the popular Uptown Theater; in the winter of 1960. At that time I was approached by Ms. Jackie (Mom’s) Mabley the world’s funniest woman who was doing a show at the Uptown Theater that night; it seems her bassist got sick on an earlier show that evening. I got that job by being the right guy in the right place at the right time. Ms. Mabley’s Bass player was seriously ill and was unable to finish the Gig that evening. Mom’s Mabley asked if I would sit-in in his place, I said yes after permission was given by Mr. McGill. I was hired and finished the Gig that evening at the Uptown Theater. A few weeks later I received another call from Ms. Mabley, she wanted to know if I’d be interested in going on tour with her band. Of course I had to talk it over with my mother (Toot’s); she spoke with Ms. Mabley and I accepted the Gig and went on tour with Moms; she was playing the Bob Hope USO tours that were appearing at Armed Forces Basses all over the world for two (2) and one half years (1/2) (from 1961 –1963). I met my first wife, and we were married August 16th, 1964 (Raymond T. Greenwood (Ray Charles first trumpet) was my best man)). I have four children; 2 for my first marriage and 2 for my second marriage and I also have 5 grand children; they are my 5 little Angels. I also played with Philadelphia’s own Ray Charles – in the “King James band. With Raymond T. Greenwood on Trumpet, Billy Davis on drums, Kenny Rodgers on Tenor Sax, King James on Keyboards and Vocals (1965). I played with the Mary Wells band, with Melvin Terrell on Guitar, Billy Davis on Drums. I also played with the Vibrations; recording artist of Cindy and Love Up On Them There Hills. vocalist: Richard Owens Lead Tenor, David Govan Baritone, James Johnson Second Tenor, and Don Bradley Bass. Band: Kenny Joiner Tenor Sax and later Ricky Williams on Tenor Sax, Joe Jordan Leader & Guitarist, Frani Gore Drummer. I then played with Gil Scot Heron and the Midnight band; (1972) Bilal Salaam on Tenor Sax, Brian Jackson on Keyboards and Flute, Khalid Mustafa Abdullah on Drums and Charley on Congas. I played with the dynamic Mrs. Nina Simon and her band, with Sherman Ferguson on Drums, Ritchie Havens Acoustic Guitar & Vocals, Don Alias Percussions, and Doug Carnes Tenor & Alto Saxes. I also played with the ‘Dream Lovers,” Robert Lockwood, Jr. and his All Stars, with Maurice Reedus Tenor Sax & Vocals, Wallace Coleman Harmonica & Vocals, Charles D.C. Carnes 6 string Guitar & Jimmy Gator Hoare on Drums; I was also the Bassist on Robert’s 1998 recording “I Got To Find Me A Woman that was also accompanied by Reily B. (BB) King on Guitar which was Robert Lockwood, Jr’s first nomination for a Grammy. I also played with Alvin Robinson (one of my first guitar teachers & the star player of the Doc Bagby’s Big Band) and the ”Love Machine”, Eddie Baccus, Sr. the late Jimmy Landers Blues Band, Skip Gibson, Cecil Rucker, The Delgado’s Blues Band with Kevin on Guitar and Harmonica and Vocals & Mike Moran on Guitar and Vocals, Vernon Jones on Drums and later Vernondo Parker on Drums, Kate Kilbane Vocalist, Mike Stevenson on Tenor, Alto and Flute, Mark Leach on Hammond B3 Organ, Benny Dominguez Percussionist; I also recorded with the Delgado’s Blues band, Umar Raheem Tenor and Soprano Saxes and Vocals, Charles Fambrough on Bass, Bernard Samuels on Keyboards, Odean Pope, Joe Jefferson, Bootsie Barnes, Middy Middleton all on Tenor Saxophones, Tyron Brown on Bass, Dennis Dozier on Guitar, Alfie Pollit on Keyboards, Joe Culley on Drums, Maurice ‘Moss’ Stanley on Keyboards & Nite Bridge Entertainment, Boss Cat on Tenor Sax, Ray Miller, Folio Mayes both on Electric Guitars, Ralph Jackson on Drums, Peyton Deane on Guitar, Angel Scott, Shirley Cook, Cynthia Woodard, Tamil Jordan, Barbara Barrett all Vocalist. I’m now located in Cleveland Ohio where I’ve recorded with the great Robert Lockwood Jr. and his all star Blues Band with BB King & Lucile & Charles D. Carnes on Guitar, Wallace Coleman Blues Band and the Delgado’s Blues Band. And I’m also playing with The Maurice Reedus Jazz, Blues & R&B Band, The Jesse Sewell Jazz Ensemble, the Herb Curtis Jazz Band, The Drew Chillious Jazz Ensemble, The ‘LEYGATORBUDDAHBAKER’ Blues Band and the First Baptist Churches Praise Team and many others.
How did you hear about the Jazz Network? Please give full name of contact
I was surfing the net for a booking agent when I discovered he site
What Instrument do you play?
What is your website address? Only websites that pertain to your business and how you can be contacted.
The Jazz Network is exactly what the title suggests, a place where you get to mix and mingle with those who have not only an appreciation for Jazz but a forum to hear new up and coming artists as well. I've hooked up with so many of my old friends that I've lost contact with over the years here and it's been a great place to meet folk, appreciate good music and Musicianship. What an incredible idea!!
Grady Tate began his jazz career as a much-celebrated drummer, backing such icons as Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones. Tate has since traded in his skins for a microphone at center stage, where he delivers smooth and soulful baritone vocals. With pianist John di Martino, Tate sings "Everybody Loves My Baby" and "Where Do You Start."
He was a soulful reedman, an amazing talent scout for decades and a bandleader of one of the country's most popular acts. Born in 1913, Herman led "Thundering Herds" that were both big draws and well-respected by the likes of Igor Stravinsky. Here are five recordings which still sound fresh today.
Hear passionate improvisation across borders on Colombian harp, Argentinian bandoneón, Venezuelan cuatro and vibes from the U.S. In a set with Castañeda, his trio and special guests perform at the Americas Society in New York.
Ever since he started becoming one of the best alto saxophone players in the world, Zenón has drawn from his upbringing in Puerto Rico. But, like many Puerto Ricans, Zenón lives in New York — where his quartet of 10 years has finally been invited to play the Vanguard. It presents new music in concert.